U.S. Olympic Trials: Late Burst Lifts Townley Haas By Conor Dwyer In 200 Freestyle

Townley Haas [YouTube still]
Townley Haas [YouTube still]

A late flourish carried Townley Haas to his first Olympic invitation, the Texas freshman getting the best of Conor Dwyer by the slimmest of margins.

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Comments

commonwombat

As detached observors, we can view this race through two lenses; those of “the race itself” and those of “the times and how do they impact the international equation”.

For the race itself, major thumbs up and who doesn’t like a nail biting finish …… apart from those involved in the race itself and their support teams ?

The times ….. whilst having 3 sub 1.46 men is excellent; it muddies rather than clarifies the picture with regards to who are the real contenders in a month’s time. The event remains “slow” and whilst you have to add Haas & Dwyer to the possible medallists list; claiming them as being “probable” or “likely” medallists is tenuous at best.

The 4×200 situation ? With 3 1.45 men plus a 1.46 with the potential to co-opt Phelps; one has to move US to favouritism but nothing about these times sends a message to their competition “we own this event, you’re competing for our scraps”.

Favourites Yes …. but along way from being prohibitive ones or even secure ones. I think some gentlemen in various parts of Europe, Asia & the Pacific may have taken some heart from this result.

aswimfan

I agree with CW.
Instead of making the picture for Rio clearer, the results of 200 free actually making Rio prediction more muddied.

Not sure if Dwyer can improve much. Just like Thomas Fraser Holmes, Dwyer has been hovering around 1:45low to mid all these past 4 years. But Haas is young enough to still make significant improvement. I still think 200 free is James Guy’s to lose with Yang to act as party spoiler – which is a reverse situation from last year.

As for 4×200, the results will give Bob Bowman a headache. Will he or will he not install Phelps in the 4×200 final?
These 200 results is not slow enough to justify Phelps’ addition in the 4×200 final, but also not fast enough to say that Phelps is not needed.
I guess the only who will be answer the question is Bob himself during the camp.

aswimfan

And yes, before the trials started, USA was strong favorites to win m4x200, but now not so much. It now opens up the door a bit for GBR, Australia and who knows maybe France and Japan too.

aswimfan

And I didn’t even realize Maxine Rooney, who has been widely touted by US fans as the next great 200 freestyler, was not even in the final!

Robbos

I agree ASF, I thought US 4X200 was clear favourites, but now after trials, I still think they are favourites, but not as strong as prior to trials.
As for 200 individual I think you are correct as well Guy v Yang.

KeithM

“And yes, before the trials started, USA was strong favorites to win m4x200, but now not so much.”

Were you really expecting better than 3 1:45s and a 1:46 before the meet? I think this is a solid result. Lochte and Dwyer are well seasoned on this relay and the accompanying options are a big step up from Kazan. I don’t think they were “Strong favorites” before the race. I just think they were nominal favorites. Top of the depth chart with a couple of teams nipping on their heels. I’d say the narrative remains about what most expected.

I was maybe slightly disappointed that Dwyer wasn’t faster. He was a bit quicker in Santa Clara and after his PB in the 400 I thought he had more scope to improve in this race as well. But the job is to finish top 2 (or top 6 for some). So maybe beyond the confines of tactical racing he can do so in five weeks. Historically the US men in middle distance events (200 and 400) for some reason always seem to consistently improve from trials to olympic games more than in other events (including the relay swimmers).

aswimfan

Before this started, I was expecting:
Dwyer to swim 1:45 flat (santa clara came to mind)
Lochte to swim 1:45 high
Haas to swim 1:45 mid (no, I’m not nearly as optimistic as many fans who floated around 1:44)
Conger and Rooney to swim at around 1:46low
And Phelps to post either in prelims or semis at least 1:46 for consideration

With these times in mind, they were strong favorites for 4×200 gold. I thought they were quite reasonable, but maybe my expectations were too high and skewed by the hype. So in short, only Conger exceeded my expectation.
Lochte is clearly feeling that age is not just an abstract concept, and I don’t care if anyone says that at 31 yo, Lochte is not too old to break WR.

RSASprinter

Haas has such poor walls and great swimming ability, compared to the other guys in the field. Conger is just an animal off the blocks. If Haas can improve on that start, he will quite easily swim 1:44 IMHO

KeithM

Aswimfan. well apparently Lochte is injured with a groin pull from the opening day of the meet. So it’s hard to assess just how far off his peak he really is this year. I won’t render a verdict on that until he swims in five weeks. If you told me before trials there would be 3 1:45s and a 1:46 I would have taken that. The writing on the wall for Phelps in the 200 free for me came in Austin. He managed a 51 mid 100 fly but his 200 free was well out of his range. It was evident even last year that his freestyle was far removed from vintage era Phelps.

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